Phoenix Water Services exploring water usage rate changes, excise tax

Mar 19, 2023, 7:15 AM | Updated: 8:10 am
In this aerial photo, a bathtub ring of light minerals show the high water mark on the shore of Lak...
In this aerial photo, a bathtub ring of light minerals show the high water mark on the shore of Lake Mead along the border of Nevada and Arizona, Monday, March 6, 2023, near Boulder City, Nev. (AP Photo/John Locher)
(AP Photo/John Locher)

PHOENIX — Proposed changes to water usage rates and a Stormwater Excise Tax in Phoenix will be presented to the community in a series of public meetings, beginning on March 20.

The changes and tax are designed to help the Phoenix Water Services Department to keep up with inflation and legislation, demanding that more attention, priority and value should be placed on monitoring water usage in the nation’s fourth largest city.

Water and waste water usage rates would increase once per year for three years to keep up with inflation rates under the proposal.

Wastewater usage rates are set to increase by 6.5% in October 2023 and March 2024, but the March 2025 bump would only be a 7% increase.

The department is also proposing changes to the water allowance structure in compliance with the Stage 1 Water Alert issued on June 1.

Volume allowance totals would drop from 4,488 gallons to 3,740 gallons in cooler months between October and May, and in hotter months, those totals would drop from 7,480 gallons to 5,984 from June to September under the new proposal.

The Phoenix Water Services Department also proposed a Stormwater Excise Tax to meet new demands from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to monitor water quality, pollution and increase inspections for the city’s storm drain system.

The proposed $0.25 monthly tax for single family homes would result in an additional $3 of revenue per year for those households.

Fifteen public meetings will run from March until the final meeting at Camelback East on May 2.

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Phoenix Water Services exploring water usage rate changes, excise tax